Monday, January 2, 2023

Grief Anniversary

I've written about it before, but I always forget. My body always remembers.

Grief anniversaries.

But first, let me back up for a second.

The holidays are over! There were many years where I eagerly awaited the new year, knowing that all of the stereotypes and expectations of the holiday season would be behind me. The holidays don't bother me so much anymore. I celebrate the parts I like and leave the rest. They fly by so fast now. One minute I'm shopping for the Thanksgiving meal; the next minute I'm taking ornaments off of the tree.

So you'd think I would remember what comes next... My season of failed IVF.

On January 1, 2015 I went in for my first embryo transfer. I could barely sleep the night before, but it obviously wasn't from disrupted sleep due to partying the old year away. I was extremely anxious about oversleeping or having a car wreck en route to the clinic or some other disaster striking and wasting all that time, money, and energy on my first IVF cycle. (Yeah, it sucked. I hated every second of it. I only endured IVF for my children.)

This new year was weird. After months of heavy reflection, I told my boyfriend in the afternoon of NYE that we needed to take some time apart. Yeah, that completely sucked. I obviously love him, but I feel like I have two choices: stay how things are or change the situation. Much like infertility: I couldn't stay how things were (years of charting followed by repeated failed treatments), so I had to change my situation.  

It always sucks not liking your options.

And about my breakup, I still don't know what it looks like. It's only been communicated, not yet implemented. But I share here because that is what happened on my NYE. It wasn't the greatest day and I went to bed at 9:30. That has to be the earliest I've ever gone to bed on 12/31.

Of course, I woke up the next day not feeling it. But... I was REALLY not feeling it. I felt empty and weepy. And I kept thinking, but this is nothing new... I've been sad and frustrated for awhile... Why do my feelings feel so unexpected?

And then I remembered. Eight years ago I went in for my first embryo transfer. I was an anxious wreck. My husband was barely present. I was full of hope (sorta), and I've yet to have that level of hope since. Even though I liked my doctor and my clinic (a rare occurence!), the whole experience was awful.

And, spoiler alert, it didn't work.

And there I was yesterday, eight years later, feeling my grief for so many things at once.

The worst day will be on the 11th. I'm scheduled to work that day. But that's the day I found out my first IVF cycle did not result in pregnancy, and I fell to my knees just howling with my dog anxiously circling me trying to make it better.

Maybe I won't be at my best on the 11th, but I am still going to show up. Maybe I will encounter a patient that needs something only I can offer. I will go to work that day for them.


  1. sending a warm hug across the Atlantic!

  2. Sending love at this difficult time... It's amazing how the body remembers grief and trauma. And how those dates are forever stuck in our minds. I hope you can be especially kind to yourself. I'm sorry about the breakup, too. I am proud of you for taking the initiative to un-stuck yourself, even as it sucks and is still uncertain. 💜

  3. I'm also sending love and hugs from warm and humid southern lands. This is my loss "season" as you put it, too, and even two decades later, it still stings. So I'm wanting you to know you are not alone, and we are all holding you close, and walking alongside you as you go through this. I'm also very sorry about your relationship, but so impressed at your courage and your self-awareness now, and your determination to do always what is right for you. Brava!

  4. Dear Phoenix,
    Thinking of you and sending you another warm hug from the centre of Europe... wishing you strength and peace!
    Much love <3

  5. Another voice chipping in here, to also send love and compassion to you whilst you navigate this trying time… anniversaries suck and it’s really strange how our bodies remember what the mind tries to forget… sorry to hear about your relationship break up but also - what courage it takes to know when it’s time to take a break, review, regroup - do what is right for you despite it feeling like a double edged sword.

    I honestly believe going through IVF and infertility makes us face the unknowns and gives us that gentle push to want better for ourselves, because we’ve faced emotional rollercoasters.

    Gentlest of hugs dear one, you are seen xxx

  6. Thank you so much, everyone. I am so fortunate to have you all as friends.

    I've written several times about grief anniversaries sneaking up on me, but yet I keep forgetting. I suppose that's good too, though. Forgetting the anniversaries until they happen means I'm not constantly thinking in terms of grief anymore. I am in a different phase of the process now.

    The rest of my life is also in process. I know things are changing, but I don't know what they will look like yet. I don't usually blog about things until after they happen. But... I never said anything about my marriage to friends when it would've been helpful to do so (if only just to hear myself think out loud), and I never want to repeat that mistake again.

  7. Adding my (((hugs))) to everyone else's. Anniversaries suck, especially when they coincide with a major holiday. (I have some pretty significant ones coming up this year myself.) And I'm so sorry about your breakup too.

    I'll be thinking of you on the 11th.